Relocation of office is a change for your staff, as well as your clients because, in order to make your office move successful, you need to plan and prepare properly and carefully. With the emergence of your business, the size of your office will also change; and when you bring about this change, you move a whole culture with you, not just the things.
Setting up your business on a new location can have many advantages such as a more impressive address, added space for the team, and improved facilities and location to serve the clients. As a result, the morale of your staff will be raised, increasing efficiency and productivity for maximized bottom line sales. However, this process of shifting comes with many unique challenges that you may not be aware of.
HOW TO FIND A NEW OFFICE?
The first amongst the most important things is finding the best place for your business. Reflect upon all the things you would need, whether you’re moving towards expansion, or your office will contain the same amount of staff. Below are some things you should focus specifically:
- Can you afford the new office?
- Is it insured?
- Does it have enough space to accommodate everyone without making them uncomfortable? Is there enough of manager’s personal space? Are there proper rooms for business conferences and meetings?
- Will you be capable of expanding in future?
- Does it have a kitchen?
- Does it have central heating and air conditioning? Moving will cost you more if you have to invest in installation.
- Is it reachable for clients?
- Are there amenities such as bus stations, shops, and saloons, in the nearby area?
- Is the area of your new office safe? Is it on well-lit, busy streets? Are there proper security arrangements in the vicinity?
- Is there a proper parking space, with secure storage of bikes?
- Does it have enough power sockets?
AFTER YOU HAVE PICKED A NEW OFFICE LOCATION:
- Start planning 6 – 12 months before the move. The process will be quite hectic and there will be a lot of work. Therefore, the earlier you start, the better and easier it will be. In order to do this, spend some time in making a big, detailed list of everything you need to do. You can use a spreadsheet for this purpose, or just a paper.
- Plan the design of the new office. Think about whether you will use your old furniture, or buy new items. Discover a place for each item by planning the interior design. This can be done by hiring a designer, making a plan on a simple paper, or using a special software that helps you in this regard.
- Hire reliable services. If the office rent doesn’t include basic services, you will have to make arrangements for cleaning, maintenance, locksmith, and landline services.
- Update business cards. You will have to make new business cards with the updated office address.
- Request a quote with a moving company. The earlier you do this, the better. You will definitely need removalists to make everything smooth on the moving day.
- Calculate relocation costs. The next thing you need to do is calculating the cost of moving. Often people are confused about whether they should invest more on the move so they relocate quickly and resuming their functions as soon as possible, or should they save money but spend more time on the move by carrying out the process by themselves.
- Delegate responsibilities to lower managers. If your company is big, you will most likely have a few offices, each having its own manager. These people will know very well how to get their employees ready for the move and how to minimize the trouble. Make sure there is strong communication between you and these managers.
- Send change of address notifications. You will have to notify a lot of people about the change of address, including business partners, post office, contacts, water/power suppliers, unions, and other essentials. While in some cases writing an email could be enough, you may need to send an official letter for others. Do not forget to mention the date of the move and the new address.
- Build kitchen and washrooms. Before you move, make sure the showers, bathrooms, and kitchen of your new office are all set, furnished, and ready to use.
- Set up servers, cables, and wiring. Let your IT team do this on the day just before moving, so that the workflow is not interrupted.
WHAT ARE THE STARTING STEPS TO THE RELOCATION?
- Contact a few companies that offer office relocation services and ask them to visit your old and new premises so they can give you an estimate. Also, communicate your preferred date of shifting. Many removalist firms will prefer shifting on weekend to minimize the interruptions of the working day.
- Make sure that your relocation services provider is certain about moving and managing electronic items. Get references and clear all your queries to ensure that there are no doubts about their competence.
- Before the move, visit the new location and measure the large item dimensions so that you know your equipment will have enough space and will fit perfectly.
- Construct a floor plan so that there’s a layout for desks and other equipment. While making the plan, keep in mind that items like printers, chairs, and desk filing cabinets require extra space so that shelves can be accessed, drawers can be opened, and chair can be moved in nearby space.
- Once you have prepared the plan, show it to your key employees and make sure everyone approves it.
- More importantly, check that your internet connection is effective and working when you reach your new office so that the employees do not face any interruption upon arrival.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO BEFORE THE RELOCATION?
- When all the relevant people have agreed on the floor plan, make copies of it and send them to all staff to help them visualize the new place before they start operating there. Also, remember to keep some copies available in the new offices when staff moves there.
- Provide some of the photocopies to the relocation company as well so they have a clear idea of how your office should be set.
- To make things more organized, mark different pieces using colored labels. For example, you could use one color to mark a department. This will assist the removalists in determining where to place what. The color key should be easily understandable and accessible to everyone.
- Make sure that you clearly mention the equipment and furniture in your old office that does not have to be taken to the new location.
- Take out some time to remind the staff members what each person is responsible for. Does everyone have to set their own files? Do they have to take care of their own workstations and take responsibility of their own drawers?
- Do you need a network expert who can reconnect your devices as soon and efficiently as possible? Will hiring such a specialist be worth it?
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO ON THE DAY OF THE RELOCATION?
- Give clear instructions to your staff about what you expect them to do. You may want to give them an off for half day or have them waiting at the new location.
- Throughout the process, keep the safety and health of the removalists and employees as the top most priority.
- Don’t let the employees lift and carry items that could be too heavy for them. Ensure that the electrical wiring is organized and be aware of the trip hazards.
- Let the removal company take care of what they are best at. They have specialized in boxing-up equipment, taping filing cabinets, and packing computers safely so they can be loaded into their lorries.
- Don’t forget to take special care of confidential documents that have to be kept secure. Don’t throw away or ignore data that is obsolete but is still sensitive. Some removal companies have a specialist as part of their team who undertakes this part.
- Make sure that essentials such as the new sink, lavatories, and kettle are easily/ accessible to the employees.
- Inform all the staff about the arrangements for car parking. Make sure you allocate permits.
WHAT ARE THE OFFICE RESPONSIBILITIES TOWARDS EMPLOYEES?
While relocating your office, you have to give special attention to the staff and employees. Below are some of the things that you can do to avoid issues and mishaps.
Take a look at mobility clauses: There should be a clause for mobility in every contract signed so that employees can be moved to the new location without you having to take permission. If this is not taken care of while signing the contract, a staff member may not want to move and if you still shift, they may file a lawsuit as well. Therefore, in order to have a friendly working environment, make sure this point is agreed upon.
Find out all the important details: Another important thing is to check whether an employee will have trouble travelling to the new office. Take a look over the transport option and find out whether it will be possible for everyone to reach on time or not. While the new office location can be more feasible for some employees, others might have trouble reaching there. If you feel the need, you may go for some sort of compensation.
Avoid and clear any misunderstandings: There is gossip in every workplace. Once you have taken the decision to move, announce this news to the staff early so they start getting ready for it. You need to break the news 90 days earlier if there are more than 100 employees who have to be informed; if there are more than 20 people, give them a 30 days’ notice. You must ensure that the shifting isn’t problematic to some employees. Take special care of the disabled.
Your employees can have an active part:This isn’t mandatory, but sometimes it can be helpful to let your employees have a say in the process. For example, you can take their suggestions through an online survey. If they feel they’re included, they will adapt to the change more quickly and will help you in the process. You can also involve them in some cleaning such as in the places they share like the kitchen. Let them set their own personal space in the new office, and let the departments take care of their own essentials.
TIPS FOR OFFICE RELOCATION:
1. Start the Planning Process Early
Efficient relocation is all about planning. For a well-planned move it is necessary to give at least a couple of months to yourself. You will need to make up a clear-cut plan and evaluate every detail. You will have to decide on the stuff that you will keep, the stuff you want to donate and the stuff you want to leave behind or trash. Even though lots of charities have no problems accepting used office furniture, it wouldn’t be smart to expect them to pick up stuff at the last minute by coordinating with your moving schedule. Lastly having a clear plan allows you to share that plan with your employees so that they can manage their workflow accordingly and make the transition process as smooth as possible.
2. Purge Old Data and Recycle Electronics
If you have old phones and laptops lying around your office, it is important that you dispose them off properly for both safety as well as environmental reasons. You have to face facts and understand that no one is going to use those obsolete phones and laptops anymore, so there actually is no point hoarding them. There are a number of ways you can get these devices off of your hands without contributing to e-waste. But the first thing you need to do is to remove your personal data from these devices. This isn’t as easy as just deleting some old files. You can find detailed tutorials on wiping old devices clean on the internet. This is a necessary step to ensure privacy and confidentiality. After completely wiping the data off, there are a number of to dispose the device. Lot of companies and organizations like Best Buy offer to dispose your devices the proper way for you or even at times will buy them back from you. You can also look for some community recycling or donation programs in your area.
3. Plan for Coverage During the Move
For any small business, it just isn’t a good idea to shut down operations completely for any extended period. Anything more than one business day or a weekend is a lot of time to have your doors closed. Make sure to inform clients about your relocation and when and how long you will be unavailable. If by some luck you mainly deal with servicing clients remotely you can notify them that services will not be as quick as usual but they will be back on track once you’ve relocated. If your workers are assisting in the move you can designate one or a few employees to responding to clients. This makes sure that your clients don’t feel completely abandoned during your transition to a new office space.
4. Move the Non-essentials First
Categorize your office equipment into two categories. The first will be your essential equipment that you require to do your job at a very basic level. The second will be non-essential equipment that play a supportive role and without which you can still continue to do your job. You can reduce downtime to a great extent by first moving all the non-essential equipment to the new office. Only the very necessary equipment should stay in office till moving day so that every day operations continue as long as they can.
5. Reduce Square Footage by Optimizing Storage
If in case you are moving to a smaller office space from a larger one, it is a good idea to store files or documents that are rarely or never used in a storage facility. This allows you to save up some very necessary office real estate. When looking for storage facility, money is not the only factor to consider. You should also factor in other aspects such as, climate control in the unit, safety and security of your belongings, and how far away the facility is in case you ever need to access your files.n case you are moving to a smaller office space from a larger one, it is a good idea to long as they can. a great extent by fi
6. Change Your Digital Address
Just as it is important to let your clients and suppliers know about your relocation and new address, it is equally important change your contact information on the internet. In today’s age Google is people’s primary source of information for any queries. If your information on the internet is not correct then you will lose your credibility. Google usually pulls its information off of popular webpages such as Yelp and City Search. It should be one of your topmost priorities that you change your new contact information wherever you possibly can. Also remember to edit your location on Google maps by using Google map maker. Once you change your location on the map and your changes are approved, it will show your new location whenever someone searches for your location on Google Maps.
7. Take Sentimental Things Home
Sentimental objects such as pictures and souvenirs contain loads of sentimental value. In order to ensure the safety of such valuable objects, make sure all employees take such belongings home.
8. Know The Difference Between ‘Full’, ‘Over’, And ‘Under’ Packed
To ensure safety of fragile office equipment make sure your packed boxes are neither over packed nor under packed. They just should be filled just right in order to keep their contents away from any risk. Over filled boxes will not close properly whereas, underfilled boxes have a greater possibility of getting crushed in transit.
9. Choose Plastic Crate Over Boxes
We recommend that you use 3x3x3 plastic crates that come with a dolly that can carry up to four crates at a time. The effective solution removes any risk that comes with carrying heavy boxes.
10. Untagged Items Are Unmoved Items:
It is important that every crate or item is tagged or labelled before it is to be loaded on to the truck. This is a policy requirement for professional movers in order to keep check and accountability of all boxes and crates. Make sure whoever is in charge of packing efficiently labels all boxes. Some moving companies even refuse to load boxes until they are tagged or labeled.
11. Hire Movers And Cleaners 1 To 3 Months Before The Move
In order for your move to be as seamless and unhitched as possible it is necessary that you start to plan your move about a couple of months ahead of your moving day. Make sure you start researching moving and cleaning services and the facilities that provide. Once you find a suitable service provider book a moving date as soon as possible in order to stay on schedule.
12. Update Your Vendors 1 To 3 Months Before You Move
In order to stay on top of your schedule, make a detailed list of all office supplies that you will need in your new office space and share them with your vendor. This would give the vendor ample time to make all the adjustments that he would need to make. If you’re going to get new furniture or signs for the new office space book it well in advance to avoid any delays.
13. Update Your Website, Letterhead And Business Cards 1-2 Weeks Before Moving
During the last week before the move, it is of critical importance that all necessities are where they need to be before your employees enter their new workspace. This saves time in adjusting to the new workplace and ensures that usual business gets back on track as soon as possible. Also remember to make sure that the post office and clients have been notified about the move.
14. Tell Your Clients That You Are Moving:
Make sure your customers are made aware of your relocation as soon as possible. If you can, notify them of any disruptions in services they might face due to the move. By notifying them as early as possible you make sure that your clients feel like an important part of your organization giving them ample time to make any necessary arrangements. Explain to them why the move was necessary and how the move will benefit them as well. Make sure that the message gets across effectively with the help of emails and letters or even advertising campaigns. Have a clear cut marketing offensive that makes everyone that is an integral part of your business feel included and involved. Events such as opening ceremonies are a great way to do so.
HIRE A REMOVALISTS COMPANY FOR OFFICE MOVE – WHY?
Organizations that are going through an office move and are getting help from relocation experts benefit from not only getting a help in all the heavy lifting and loading but also get a ton of great advice from experienced veterans of the moving business who have helped hundreds of businesses in their office relocation. Picking an experienced relocation company that has a good track record when it comes to customer service will affect your transition into the new office a great deal. When considering which moving company to go with it is a good idea to look for local movers associations. Members of such a body are usually skilled and trained professionally and have considerable experience as well.
Handling an office relocation is not an easy job. It can be tremendously stressful for someone that does not have a clear step by step process to follow. By involving experienced relocation experts in your move will let you supervise the process without needing to think about or deal with logistics of it. Things, like planning the most efficient route, booking the trucks, and handling the packed boxes is not your job anymore. The movers will do all this and more for you. If the thought of moving everything to the new office overwhelms you, then getting help from a relocation company will take the burden off of your chest, allowing you to concentrate on your business.
Many relocation companies go as far as insuring your belongings during the move. This will cost you a bit more money but when it comes to costly office equipment and the risk involved in moving it is worth it. So if your equipment is damaged, lost or even stolen during transit, the company will pay for it. This means that you have absolutely nothing to worry about during the entire moving process. When choosing your relocation experts, remember to enquire about any insurance policies they may have. You should be clear about the procedure to make a claim if in care there is a need to.
Limit business downtime
The most important rule of any successful business is that business must go on. This essentially implies that your business should have as little downtime as possible. For any large scale relocation operation it is of critical importance that the people handling it know what they are doing at any given moment and are completely fine-tuned with their team. This professionalism safeguards you and your business from and crucial mistakes that can come up during the move and lead to more downtime for the business.
It is important that you choose a moving company that provides you with the best boxes and moving supplies, so that your computers, furniture, and other items are properly organized throughout the move. Your IT equipment should be disassembled and replaced in the correct manner, hence some moving companies have specialists as part of their team that manages telecoms and IT equipment for your office. Make sure you keep a strong communication with your moving company throughout the move and talk to them if you have any questions or queries. Keep in mind that they are professionals and experienced removalists so they probably address your concerns in their work every day.
When you are shifting to another office, it is a good time to re-consider the way the rented floor space is used. For instance, record files could be moved into storage. This way you will also be able to use the space in your new office more efficiently.
Relocating an office can be quite a stressful task, especially if you are not accustomed to moving often. However, if you have the proper planning and know exactly what you need to know then you can have peace of mind on the day of the relocation. To ensure a smooth and efficient relocation process, there are a number of steps that you need to take from choosing a new office to letting everyone associated with your business (clients, employees, and vendors) know about your move. In this guide, we have outlined everything that you need to know about the office relocation process, including the benefits of hiring a moving company to facilitate your move. Following the steps and tips that are mentioned in this guide will help you better prepare for the move and will help you make sure that the entire relocation process is carried out reliably, efficiently, and effectively.
On an ending note, what you need to keep in mind is that when the big moving day arrives, you need to stick with your plan but you should also be prepared for any hiccups that may occur. Moving an office is not an easy job and you need to count in numerous unpredictable factors such as traffic, weather, and injuries. The best advice that we can give you here is to work with a renowned and experienced removalists company such as InterstateRemovalists.Sydney that will work hand in hand with you to ensure a stress-free and worry-free office relocation experience.